Location: 42000 block of Road 140, Orosi

Incident Date: 5/23/17

Incident Time: 1115 hours

Case Number: 17-05102

Victim: Multiple victims

City: Orosi

Posted by: Media Relations

Suspect: Ruben Alcala, 30

On 5-23-17, Orosi Patrol Deputies were conducting routine patrol in the above listed area. The Deputies being aware of recent thefts, observed a specific piece of farm equipment recently reported stolen, being operated by an unknown Hispanic male.

Due to the specific piece of equipment being operated, Deputies attempted contact of the operator, however he fled the area. Deputies conducted a search, however were not able to locate the suspect. Upon further investigation, they contacted the above listed suspect at his residence where the equipment was parked. Deputies began to inquire about several vehicles on the property at which time they suspected the operation of an unlicensed auto dismantler or chop shop.

Detectives with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Ag Crimes Investigations Unit were contacted and assumed the investigation. Upon arrival, they determined several vehicles on the property were in fact reported stolen and in the process of being dismantled.

Detectives contacted investigators with the California Highway Patrol Auto Theft Task Force as well as Tulare County Sheriff’s K9 personnel and the Tulare County Arial Unit to assist in searching the property. With the use of the Sheriff's Drone, Detectives were able to locate a total of five stolen vehicles as well as vehicle parts and tools used to dismantle cars. 

Ultimately, the above listed suspect was taken into custody on numerous felony charges. He was subsequently booked into the Adult Pre-Trial Facility. Detectives are still following leads and this investigation is ongoing.  

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Det. K. Jones or Sgt. Chad Rhyman with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at (559) 735-1898. They can also call 24 hours a day at (559) 733-6218 or anonymously, by accessing the TipNow page at tcso@tipnow.com and (559) 725-4194.